Much To Say in Reconstruction

  • June 21, 2020, 7:03 p.m.
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  • Public

What I intend to write here may be one of the potentially most offensive things I’ve written this year. Then again, it may not. Just know that I go into writing this with that intent. Obviously, I’d prefer not to receive judgmental notes; but that is something that can’t be helped in some instances. Of course… I have much to write before I get to the content I had intended to share.

As I had mentioned previously, I have re-signed with BetterHelp. The last time I used their services, they were very helpful in providing me the proper mindset to say, “Fuck the Chinese Job. I can do better than putting up with this abuse.” So I was hoping for something similar when it came to “Divorce During a Pandemic and surrounding issues.” I was not surprised that I was not connected with my last BetterHelp therapist. Different location, different concerns, different issues, different time. As such, of course, I held no illusions as to how things would go. Start fresh as though you’ve never done this. Seems like the right perspective. That being said, comparisons are natural. How are things being done in THIS interaction versus the OTHER counselor, that sort of thing. Well… right off the bat, some important differences. In BetterHelp once you’ve been matched with a counselor, the counselor sends you a “Hi, intro” kind of e-mail. The first counselor sent me a “Hi, here’s who I am, here are the options for engaging in BetterHelp! Let me know which you prefer!” This one? Sent me a hi, introduced herself, and said “Feel free to schedule an appointment at your convenience!” Wait… what? So I responded asking if she meant… Telehealth, or texting, or e-mailing… like.... “schedule an appointment” what are we talking about specifically? I asked her. She… didn’t give me a clear answer. Just said “tell me when works best for you.” To which I said “Friday afternoons.” Then it got weird again. She sent me a message that said, “I’ve cleared my early afternoon on Friday for you.” Then a day later she sent me some very strange text gibberish and a hyperlink that was simply an e-mail address. It was odd. I sent back “I don’t understand what this is. Can you please explain?” In the last six days, I have not had an explanation. Or any response back. So… who knows what is going to happen there. This morning I decided “fuck it” if she wasn’t going to respond to a clarification request, I’ll just do what I did in my last BetterHelp experience and compose an e-mail detailing the issues. Let’s see what happens next?

Onto some more “large scale” disturbing news. As you know, I get County Health Board E-mails daily to update on the spread of COVID19 in my jurisdiction. We are averaging 1 to 3 new cases EVERY DAY and the large majority of our cases are very surprisingly in the “Adult” category (per county classification that means people between the ages of 18 and 40). I say “surprisingly” because everyone assumes that COVID spikes are concentrated to the Elder Care facilities, Hospitals, and Out of County Meat Packing. Unfortunately, it isn’t truly surprising for me as someone who is IN that demographic and has been observing my peers behave as though COVID doesn’t and has never existed. During my walk with Nala today, we saw an entire TOWN (of over 17k people) prove this idiocy. I’ve mentioned before that nobody is wearing masks anymore. In my entire county. The only masks I see people wear anymore are at the Grocery store and even THOSE people aren’t even committing (how many people actually DON’T know that if the mask doesn’t cover your nose, you aren’t using it right?) During our walk… Nala and I saw 12 backyard barbecues where there was no social distancing, no PPE, and more than 10 people in attendance. Or… CLEAR viral vectors on display; thanks for energizing the curve! But what was most galling and surprising to me? The community building’s parking lot was PACKED. Like dozens and dozens of cars. Nala and I got to the front of the parking lot and… it was a graduation party! I mean… forget the whole “Graduation Party on Father’s Day” weirdness. Think more about dozens and dozens of people in a small community building without masks. In a community where we saw a 25% spike in confirmed cases in ONE WEEK. Where the County not the state, the county is getting new cases every day. And what bothers me most about this? Is the logical break in people’s bullshit. COVID is a 14/30 illness. If everyone who had encountered someone with COVID isolated for 14 days; and everyone else wore a mask and social distanced for 30 days… we’d be a LOT further along in this than we are. But we haven’t and we aren’t. We, as a country, haven’t even had a DIP… we had a plateau. Instead of letting cases go down before acting like self-entitled jackasses; we let it “level”. If I may.... an analogy:

A town is getting way more rain than normal; enough to threaten a massive flood. Unfortunately, the government refuses to acknowledge or work against the flood and the inevitable happens. The water crests the river banks and floods the area. It isn’t terrible, as far as floods go. Half of the town is still dry; and the people with home damage just lost everything in their basements. As far as floods go, it is fairly manageable. AS LONG as there isn’t any more rain OR the town works to get the flood waters to recede. Neither happens for a few weeks. The flood waters stay at their same level… people figure that since it didn’t hurt their shit it isn’t that bad. THEN more rain and the flood waters get worse. Didn’t have to. The town could have done something about the water during the period between flooding and more rain. But they didn’t. That’s how too many are responding to COVID.

Now for the intended entry. As to this? I’m going to do something I rarely if ever do. Sharing images in a less secure format. Here is what I look like.
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So that’s what I look like. And I’ll admit that I “swipe right” on more than 80% of my Dating App matches. And I never get actually matched (meaning no mutual swipes) in almost every time. But here’s where it gets offensive. Potentially. So… you see those pictures of me? Okay. I am looking for someone who is AT LEAST as attractive (give or take) as this:
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I say that with no disrespect to my wife. I look at those images and consider her attractive. And so as I go through dating apps, I’m looking for “that attractive or better.” AND I hear the voice of the critic clearly. Criticizing me for not swiping on everyone because maybe I’ll get to like someone so much that their appearance doesn’t matter and all of that. But… and I get that this may not be the most compassionate response… here’s my perspective:

I didn’t fuck things up. I was a loving, dedicated, hard working husband that put everything I had into my marriage. The idea that because she couldn’t be a wife I now have to settle for someone I’m less attracted to? I mean… I get that seems shallow but… honestly? This is more of the “Dedicating myself to doing the right thing has resulted in nothing but pain and punishment. Where is my reward?” kind of thinking. It isn’t fair that just because she’s a woman; she is pulling guys who are equal to my appearance or better.... meanwhile I can’t even pull women twice Nancy’s size. It just… it isn’t fair. It isn’t just. Now obviously, of course, I want to form a deep meaningful connection and bond with someone as well. I want to love and be loved in return. Definitely. But if we can accept that Robert DeNiro doesn’t date white women… and we can be okay with Leonardo DiCaprio never dating a woman over 25… why should I be demonized for wanting to be with someone AS attractive or more attractive than my wife???

And yes, I’ll admit… the photo sharing? Is in some way to determine whether I was “dating outside of my league”. If Nancy is “outside of my league?” I’ll be almost suicidally depressed but I suppose I’ll understand. It would explain why she never wanted to have sex with me. But if not? Then… I don’t want to hear people being mean to me for wanting to be attracted to the women I date! Though… I understand the sillyness in that statement. Even the 400 pound woman with six kids never responded to my message. So, sure. Maybe I really am physically repulsive and a god damned monster.


Down the rabbit hole... June 21, 2020

Eh... I wouldn't say she's out of your league but I feel like I'd definitely classify you as the chaser. I understand there has to be some physical attraction for a relationship to go somewhere, but I also find your comments about bigger girls shallow and insulting. Also, online dating is seriously way easier for women. Example that just happened today... my bff made a pof profile just so she could help a guy friend of ours with his (checking functionality and how to search stuff etc). She posted a picture she had drawn of a Llama, wrote completely insane shit all in the profile and got 5 messages from guys in a matter of hours.

Sweetlatina Down the rabbit hole... ⋅ June 21, 2020

I will agree to disagree with the fact that online dating is easier for women. My friend and I both have horrible times with online dating and we aren't ugly. We are attractive and smart and kind but we never have luck with anyone being serious.

Always Laughing June 21, 2020

She isn't out of your league. Did you ever consider it's not your appearance it's your written profile that isn't attracting women?

Park Row Fallout Always Laughing ⋅ June 23, 2020

Unfortunately, I think there is a lot of variables in this formula. Which site, my location, my appearance, my profile. For a lot of the people on these sites, they are in cities like Cedar Rapids or Des Moines... and while I wouldn't mind driving there... if a woman sees "106 miles away" or someone equally intriguing at "4 miles away" they're likely to go with the easier to reach option.

Always Laughing Park Row Fallout ⋅ June 23, 2020

As a woman who has been online dating for 20 + years yes there are many variables that involve my decision to swipe right, send a message, etc. Looks are the lowest on my list when considering someone. Yes they do play a part, but not as much as one would think. Dating isn't easy in any form that's what I've learned.

stargazing June 21, 2020

Nancy is pretty, but she seems like an unhappy person. There isn't a smile in any of the pics you posted. I don't think she's out of your league. I also find you attractive, but I'm not sure a couple of the pics you posted are what you should be posting to a dating site. It bothers me that you don't look into the camera lens--it feels like you are avoiding something. The one in the bathroom--you look angry. And the one with the empty bookcase...I can't figure out your expression. The other 2 are nice tho. Did you ever re-write your profile?

Park Row Fallout stargazing ⋅ June 23, 2020

You're not wrong. In the 15 years I've known her... I think I have access to a total of 6 pictures ever where she is smiling. Including the wedding photos. I did re-write my profile. I'm thinking of trying again though. It's a weird calculation. Like... trying to show who I am, grab attention, without sharing too much or seeming needy. It is odd. First Dates are always interviews I just... never expected we'd get to the point as a culture where those interviews required resumes beforehand.

anticlimatic June 21, 2020

Divorce is hard on the psyche and self esteem. I know it seems like balancing some scales is exactly what has to happen to survive the upheaval, but they will balance themselves no matter what you do eventually. Do whatever you feel you need to, and don't stress too much about it. All will be well.

Park Row Fallout anticlimatic ⋅ June 23, 2020

Thank you! Life goes forward and things shift. And as an officer of the courts, I'm the first to say "The only fair in the real world is the one that sells corndogs." :)

-d June 22, 2020

Still think you should nix Tinder, and go for a paid site. Some of the free sites can be far more frustrating than anything else, even if you are attractive.

Park Row Fallout -d ⋅ June 23, 2020

I've certainly been considering it, I'll admit!

AppleGirl June 22, 2020

This has less to do with how pretty Nancy is or isnt, and more to do with the fact than men typically pursue women. And often on those sites, pursue women with the sole purpose of hooking up. Most women don’t do that.

Nancy and you look like a well matched couple, looks-wise. Be patient, don’t settle. Be alone for a little while - maybe at least until after the divorce is final.

Park Row Fallout AppleGirl ⋅ June 23, 2020

Excellent advice. And very true.

Rivercity June 22, 2020

You both look fine. I think the casual shots are better than the ones where you're wearing a suit. I think you should put some professional-looking stuff on the bookshelf, even if you don't need it there. Also, I agree with what the person above says.

Amaryllis June 22, 2020

Driving through Des Moines on my way from CA to MI to move myself to CA. Thinking of you!

Park Row Fallout Amaryllis ⋅ June 23, 2020

:) Yay! Hope the move goes off without a hitch!

Rhapsody in Purple June 25, 2020

I don’t know if we are okay with Leo only dating under 25s? But I did hear that he recently dated someone closer to his age which is exciting for him.
I don’t think rating people by number is an ideal system but you should only pursue women you are attracted too

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